The ecosystem approach as a frame for SDG 14 implementation

Daniela Diz

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The ecosystem approach as defined by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties (COP) can provide a comprehensive strategy and framework for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. This article argues that by applying the ecosystem approach (EA), States, competent organizations, and other relevant actors would have the opportunity to place the health of the oceans in the centre of environmental conservation and sustainable development, overcoming a silos approach towards SDGS integration, and as a means for mainstreaming (the conservation and sustainable use of) biodiversity into the implementation of the SDGS. In doing so, this article will (i) recall the often neglected principles of the CBD ecosystem approach, as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF), (ii) discuss the alignment between SDG 14 and the ecosystem approach, and (iii) explore ways for mainstreaming biodiversity into a select number of SDG 14 targets (SDG 14.1-14.5) before providing concluding remarks on the role of the ecosystem approach as an integrative principle for coherent oceans governance in the context of the SDG 14.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-206
Number of pages20
JournalOcean Yearbook Online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2019


  • ecosystem approach
  • convention on biological diversity
  • sustainability development goals


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